South Africa operates two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time throughout the year, making it an hour ahead of Central European Winter Time, seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Winter Time, and seven hours behind Australian Central Time.
Cape Town International is South Africa's second-largest airport, and is a prime tourism gateway serving millions of visitors arriving in the Mother City every year. Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport is the largest airport, and most International flights arrive in this city. There are currently five domestic carriers that offer regular flights to the main centres, daily.
Passports and Visas
All visitors to South Africa must be in possession of a valid passport in order to enter the country, and in some cases, a visa. However, it is important to note that under South Africa's Immigration Act of 2002 (Act. 13 of 2002) in force since 7 April 2003, the passport shall contain at least THREE unused pages when presenting the passport for endorsements. Failure to have a clear page can result in entry being refused. Passports need to be valid for a minimum of 6 months after departure date from South Africa. To determine whether you require a visa to enter South Africa, visit the comprehensive South African Home Affairs Department website: Click here
IATA – International Association of Travel Agents
For Passport, Visa and Health regulations Click Here
This website will likely have the most up to date and reliable travel information as it is used by travel agents internationally. It is important to remember that the onus lies on the delegate to establish correct travel info, not the conference organisers or conference committee. Please ensure all the information is correct and that you are in possession of all the correct travel documentation as well as ensuring that where applicable, all vaccines are up to date.
For spring/summer months, lightweight (cottons and linens), short-sleeved clothes are best, although a light jersey/jumper might be needed for the cooler evenings. Umbrellas and raincoats are essential for the summers and the Western Cape's winters.
Banks and Money
The currency unit is the Rand, denoted by the symbol R, with 100 cents making up R1 (one Rand). Foreign currency can be exchanged at local banks and Bureaux de Changes. Most major international credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and their affiliates are widely accepted. Click here for currency converter.
The electricity supply in South Africa is 220/230 volts, AC 50 Hz. Please ensure that you bring the correct converter for your electrical equipment.
Most restaurants do not add a service charge to bills, thus it is customary to leave a 10-15% tip. Parking and petrol station attendants should be given whatever small change you have available. This is always appreciated, even though it may seem a small amount.
Value-added-tax (VAT) is charged on most items. Foreign tourists to South Africa can have their 15% VAT (from 1 April 2018) refunded provided that the value of the items purchased exceeds R250.00. VAT is refunded at the point of departure provided receipts are produced.
An increasing number of accommodation establishments have wheelchair ramps and bathroom facilities for the disabled. Almost every national park has at least one accessible chalet, and many accommodation establishments have one or two wheelchair-friendly rooms. Most sports stadiums have accessible suites, stands, or areas for wheelchairs near accessible parking, as well as special toilet facilities. Most public buildings also cater for wheelchair access.
Health and Safety
Many foreigners are unaware that South Africa has a well-developed infrastructure, high standards of water treatment, and medical facilities equal to the best in the world.
Hospitals and Medical Care
In a great many medical disciplines, South Africa is a global leader. In fact, South African-trained doctors are sought after all over the world, so this should give an indication of the standard of medical care available. There is a large network of public and private hospitals countrywide, offering excellent service. However, delegates must have adequate health insurance to cover the fees private hospitals charge.
Malaria is found only in the far north-east of the country. Although the incidence of malaria is rare, it would be best to take adequate precautions if you choose to visit these areas. The cheapest, safest, and most effective measures against malaria are physical barriers such as a mosquito net, and the use of a good insect repellent. If you decide to take malaria prophylaxis, it is essential that you take the medication according to the directions on the package insert. It is advisable to consult a medical professional before embarking on a course of malaria prophylaxis. Note that expectant mothers should avoid malaria medications. Cape Town, and the Western Cape, is a malaria-free area.
South Africa boasts a vast array of cultures, communities, sites, and attractions. Most parts of the country can be safely visited by tourists provided they take basic common-sense precautions (for example, not walking alone in deserted areas at night, and being circumspect about how much photographic equipment or flashy jewellery you carry).
Food and Water
Tap water in South Africa is safe to drink as it is treated and is free of harmful micro-organisms. In hotels, restaurants and nightspots, the standards of hygiene and food preparation is excellent. It is safe to eat fresh fruit and salads, and to use ice at restaurants and bars.
The transport infrastructure is very good, and roads are in good condition. South Africa has strict drinking and driving laws, with a maximum allowable alcohol blood content of 0.05%. Translated that means about one glass of wine for the average woman and perhaps 1.5 or two for the average or large man. The speed limit is 120kmph on the open road, 100kmph on smaller roads and between 60 and 80kmph in towns.
All visitors intending to drive are required to obtain an international driver's permit. Visitors found driving without a permit will be fined and not permitted to continue on their journey. Visitors will also not be able to rent a car without a valid driver's permit. The wearing of seatbelts is compulsory and strictly enforced by law. Speaking on mobile phones whilst driving is only allowed via a hands-free kit. South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road.
Visitors who are entering South Africa from a yellow fever zone must have a valid international yellow fever inoculation certificate. Only infants under the age of one year are exempt. Immunisation against cholera and small pox are not required and no other vaccinations are required when visiting South Africa.